Jigme Pema Wangchen is revered as the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual leader of a branch of Tibetan Buddhism whose adherents number in the tens of millions, and on Thursday he was walking around West Baltimore with a group of local faith leaders and peace advocates.
The Drukpa was in D.C. seeking assistance for those affected by the earthquake in Nepal, when he heard of what has been happening in Baltimore and decided to pay a visit, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Rev. Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple led the Drukpa to different sites in West Baltimore and brought him up to speed on Baltimore’s history of “poverty and injustice” going back to 1968.
It seems the kind attention of a holy man from halfway around the globe was a morale boost for the locals who accompanied him. One local community organizer considered it “a great honor” to meet the Drukpa. “It helps create the kind of hope that is so crucial for people in this town,” he told the Baltimore Sun.